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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Long Arms


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I've realized that my arms are proportionally very long and slightly hyperextended. I have a short torso and long legs which I think accentuates my long arms. I have a hard time making my port de bras (sp?) look good. I feel like I don't know how much to bend my arms. Do you have any tips?

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The main thing is to be sure that your long arms, (which can be great), are totally supported and moving from your back muscles. If you move from the elbows you will get angles instead of nice round positions and fluidity of motion. The key is to practice your port de bras, A LOT!!! This is the simplest thing to practice because you can do it at home, but I find very few young dancers who spend time doing it. They could benefit greatly if they did! :)

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Thank you so much Ms. Leigh! I think I need to focus on not bending my elbows as much in second position. My arms are so skinny and long that any bend in the elbow is quite apparent..so when I get tired and forget about holding my lats as well my arms start looking very sharp instead of fluid :yucky: Should I just focus on strengthening my back more, or do I need to work on arm strength as well?

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Probably both :wink:


It sounds like you could also work a bit on shaping, meaning how the arm rotates within the shoulder socket, elbow joint, and wrist.

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You're welcome!!!!! Now get in front of a mirror and play!!!!

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